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10 Commonly used production phrases

Updated: Jan 22

Film sets have their own unique language and jargon, which can be a mix of technical terms, abbreviations, and slang. Here are 10 commonly used film set production phrases and now you will know exactly what we mean by them :

collection of images from a film set

  1. Rolling: This term is used to indicate that the camera is recording or rolling, capturing the scene. When someone says "rolling," everyone on set is expected to maintain silence.

  2. Action: The director uses this term to instruct the actors to begin performing or delivering their lines. It signals the start of the scene being filmed.

  3. Cut: This term is used to signal the end of a take. When the director says "cut," it means the recording has stopped, and adjustments may be made before the next take.

  4. Martini Shot: The final shot of the day. It is named after the tradition of taking a "martini" (a celebratory drink) after completing the last shot.

  5. Gaffer: The head of the electrical department responsible for lighting on set. The gaffer works closely with the director of photography to achieve the desired lighting effects.

  6. Best Boy: The assistant to the gaffer. There are two best boys: the best boy electric (in charge of lighting equipment) and the best boy grip (in charge of grip equipment).

  7. Key Grip: The head of the grip department. Key grips are responsible for rigging and supporting the camera, as well as assisting with camera movement.

  8. Blocking: The rehearsal and planning of actor movements and positions for a specific scene. It helps the director and cinematographer plan camera angles and lighting.

  9. Dolly Shot: A shot in which the camera moves smoothly on a dolly or wheeled platform. It allows for dynamic and fluid camera movements.

  10. Boom Mic: A microphone mounted on a boom pole and held above the actors to capture clear audio. The boom operator is responsible for positioning the microphone.

These terms are just a glimpse into the extensive jargon used on film sets. Understanding and using this language is essential for effective communication and collaboration among the various departments and crew members involved in the filmmaking process.

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